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Phys Rev Lett. 2010 Aug 13;105(7):077203. Epub 2010 Aug 13.

Magnetoelastics of a spin liquid: X-ray diffraction studies of Tb2Ti2O7 in pulsed magnetic fields.

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  • 1Department of Physics and Astronomy, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, L8S 4M1, Canada.


We report high resolution single crystal x-ray diffraction measurements of the frustrated pyrochlore magnet Tb2Ti2O7, collected using a novel low temperature pulsed magnet system. This instrument allows characterization of structural degrees of freedom to temperatures as low as 4.4 K, and in applied magnetic fields as large as 30 T. We show that Tb2Ti2O7 manifests intriguing structural effects under the application of magnetic fields, including strongly anisotropic giant magnetostriction, a restoration of perfect pyrochlore symmetry in low magnetic fields, and ultimately a structural phase transition in high magnetic fields. It is suggested that the magnetoelastic coupling thus revealed plays a significant role in the spin liquid physics of Tb2Ti2O7 at low temperatures.

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